The third day of the protest was kicked off with around 300 members of the Jain Yuvak Mandal joining us and expressing their solidarity. Apart from pledging their support for the movement, they also assured us that they would try to keep their businesses as clean as possible.
What moved me was a call from a young student of Marimallappa’s Degree College for Women. She called to inform me that all the students from her college wanted to join the protest and that their college authorities were not very keen on this. The students had decided that if their principal would not let them take to the streets and join the protest, they would persist on staying out of the classes. I visited their college and spoke to them about the Bill and the need to keep the flame of the protest burning while at the same time ensuring that their studies would not be compromised with. The college authorities were also very happy to extend their support and promised to come with all their 7000 students in support of the campaign. It was indeed a great joy to see young girls, mostly in the age group of 18-20, passionately committed to fighting corruption. How wonderful it would be if one could energize / channelize this group of people for nation building!
We decided to convert our campaign at Mysore into an enlightened campaign. Volunteers bought day passes and hopped on to various city buses to enlighten passengers about the Bill and the weakness in the one presented to the Parliament. Others went to the railway station, the suburban bus stand and the city bus stand and educated everyone they met.
We also decided that we would maintain our view of the ‘Supremacy of Parliament’ and would incessantly communicate to our local parliamentarian the need to reflect our voice in Parliament. Our volunteers would begin the process of enlisting people to send text messages and call up the local MP Mr Vishwanath, asking him to speak in Parliament in support of a strong Lokpal bill.
We had people from different walks of life streaming in throughout the day. Members of the Mysore Chemists & Druggists Association sat in for some time and promised to pass a resolution in their meeting, urging their members not to pay any bribes to stay in business. Students of CAVA led by one of their alumni decided to have live painting demonstration and had three of their colleagues painted with different anti-corruption messages all over their bodies.
The media as always turned up in large numbers and continued their support for the campaign. Few of our student volunteers would be organizing a bike rally on the coming Saturday.
Voluntary contributions totaling around Rs 24,000 have come in and we decided that we would not raise any more funds till we spend that amount.
Related reports in the Press:
The Hindu: Fight against corruption to be taken to rural areas
The Times of India: Bus karo, say Mysore kids
Deccan Herald: Anti-corruption stir gains colour